City Gate was established in 2000 to expand community programs that had emerged from a century of urban mission work by Calvary Baptist Church in downtown D.C. Our mission is “to empower those on the margins of urban society to access more fully the life and benefits of the larger community, and to implement strategies of partnership that address the needs of urban youth, the poor, the immigrant, and others who are disadvantaged or disenfranchised.”
While our mission embraces a variety of needs, the primary focus is education, character development, and life skills for over 200 children and youth who participate in several out-of-school-time programs. Making a difference in the lives of urban children and youth is at the heart of our founding vision, stated purpose, and program experience. We have developed a program design that meets the demonstrated needs of disadvantaged children and youth. City Gate operates the following projects: • summer day camps at multiple sites throughout DC for over 200 children, ages 5-16 (half of these children attend our camp at the Johenning Center in Southeast DC); • an after-school program for 35 children, along with a food pantry and clothing closet at the Johenning Center; • four levels of English as a Second Language (ESL) classes and other outreach activities for internationals in Northwest DC; • an extensive service and education program, called Urban Hands, for volunteers and out-of-town mission groups (we work with 20-25 groups annually, involving over 600 volunteers, with most groups coming for one week). The summer and after-school programs include academic enrichment; remediation and/or homework assistance; varied activities (recreation, games, crafts, music); field trips; a computer lab; a character-development program; and a daily hot, nutritious meal. At the Johenning Center, these programs are provided without charge to any child, and program participation will continue to expand as needed resources are obtained.